Buckinghamshire Council and its partners in the Combating Drugs Partnership have announced the launch of a new Drugs and Alcohol Strategy for 2023-2028.
The proactive and positive strategy aims to build on existing initiatives to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol-related harm in the county.
This marks the first strategy under the newly formed Combating Drugs Partnership – which brings together expertise from various organisations, including Buckinghamshire Council, local drugs and alcohol treatment providers, Thames Valley Police, Probation, and the NHS.
The partnership is committed to creating a thriving environment in Buckinghamshire, where individuals and communities make positive choices not to use drugs. The strategy encourages organisations to work together to provide the right support at the right time to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol-related harm.
The strategy focuses on four key priorities:
- Addressing risk factors and additional support needs
- Reducing harms and promoting safety
- Working together
These priorities will be delivered through close partnership working and will be shaped by local data and insight.
Buckinghamshire has already seen significant success in its efforts to protect residents from the harms of drug misuse. The county has surpassed the national average for naloxone distribution, a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. In 2020/21, 76% of individuals entering opiate treatment in Buckinghamshire had access to naloxone, compared to 53% nationally.
Alcohol consumption is also a priority, with over 100,000 Buckinghamshire adults drinking at levels that may harm their physical and mental health. To address this issue, the Council’s healthy lifestyle service, Be Healthy Bucks, will deliver an enhanced alcohol prevention service from April 2023 for individuals starting to drink at higher risk levels.
Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘We are proud to launch the new Drugs and Alcohol Strategy for Buckinghamshire, which demonstrates our commitment to supporting individuals and communities in making healthier choices.
We are not only tackling substance misuse head-on, but also addressing the underlying risk factors to provide the necessary support for those affected.
Through collaboration with our partners we can continue to reduce drug and alcohol-related harm across the county and foster thriving, resilient communities.‘
Further information about the new Drugs and Alcohol Strategy can be found at www.healthandwellbeingbucks.org/alcohol-information-for-professionals.
*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.